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DEATHS: 1918 HODLER — 1845 HUGGINS — 1954 “MOPP”
BIRTHS: 1593 VIGNON — 1593 JORDAENS
^ Died on 19 May 1918: Ferdinand Hodler, Swiss Art Nouveau painter, born on 14 March 1853
— He came from a poor family and lost both of his parents at an early age. He received his first training from Ferdinand Sommer [1822–1901], a painter from Thun who produced lake and mountain landscape views for tourists. In 1871 or 1872 Hodler moved to Geneva to attend lectures in natural science at the Collège de Genève and to copy paintings by Alexandre Calame and François Diday in the museum there. In 1873 he became a student of Barthélemy Menn at the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva and while there undertook an intensive study of Dürer’s writings on proportions. In 1878 he went to Madrid, spending almost a year there, and was strongly influenced by the Spanish landscape and by the works of such masters as Titian, Poussin, Claude, Velázquez, and Goya in the Museo del Prado. He returned to Switzerland in 1879, having learnt to lighten his color.
— Hodler was born in Berne and died in Geneva. The oldest of the 6 children of a carpenter, he lost all his brothers, sisters, and parents to tuberculosis, then common among the poor. By the age of 14 he was an orphan alone in the world. He had learned the elements of painting, so he went on to study under a painter in Thun. Pennyless, Hodler went to Geneva, to try to make a living as a sign-painter. There he got to know the painter and teacher Barthélémy Menn [20 May 1815 – 13 Oct 1893], a student of Ingres [29 Aug 1780 – 14 Jan 1867] and a friend of Corot [16 Jul 1796 – 22 Feb 1875]. This progressive and educated art pedagogue accepted Hodler free of charge as a student and from 1871 to 1878 gave him a comprehensive theoretical and practical education in painting, through which he developped an artist's vision of the world and of himself.
   Through Menn, Hodler's art was influenced by Corot and Courbet. Hodler traveled in Switzerland and Spain and discovered the works of Dürer, Holbein and Raphael. He was lastingly influenced by the masterpieces of Velázquez which he saw in the Prado Museum during a visit to Madrid.
      Hodler developed a strongly realistic style, until he departed from naturalism and adopted a frankly Symbolist style in the painting Night (1890) marked by a great strength of expression. For his often seemingly melancholic, mystical, and the beautiful paintings, Hodler was attacked as “backward” by the critics and the predominantly Impressionist avant-garde of the time. The coherence of his compositions was based on repeated lines, volumes and colors, a method he termed “parallelism”.
      When Hodler wanted to exhibit Night in Geneva in 1891, it was rejected, although it had received a gold medal at an exhibition in Munich had created a sensation at the Paris 1900 World Fair. It would take years, until Hodler finally succeeded in getting accepted in Switzerland his manner of representating his conception of the world, and in stimulating historical painting. Thanks to two Austrian sponsors and to his success abroad, Hodler saw his financial situation somewhat eased. He separated from its first wife after two years of marriage. He had no children other than a son and a daughter from two of his lovers.
      In addition to historical and allegorical works, Holde painted wonderful mountain landscapes impressive in their bright, gleaming colors. His portraits are just as important. Besides Rembrandt, Hodler was probably the most prolific European self-portraitist, often showing himself in the company of slow dying Valentine Godé-Darel, his French lover and mother of his daughter.

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Self-Portrait (1900; 600x408pix _ ZOOM to 1400x952pix)
Self-Portrait (1912; 600x456pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1064pix)
Self-Portrait (1912; 600x476pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1111pix)
Self-Portrait (1914; 600x548pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1279pix)
Self-Portrait (1915; 600x528pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1232pix)
Self-Portrait (1916; 600x464pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1083pix)
Self-Portrait (1916; 600x468pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1092pix) almost identical to the preceding.
Self-Portrait (600x623pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1454pix, 264kb) identical face to the two preceding, but more shoulders.
Selbstbildnis mit verschobener Krawatte (1916; 600x572pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1335pix)
Self-Portrait (1917; 600x492pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1148pix)
Self-Portrait (1873; 600x456pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1064pix) the only one that is not just bearded head (facing front) and shoulders: this one is half-length, clean shaven, at the easel.
Der Müller mit sein Sohn und Esel (600x917pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2140pix, 683kb)
Rückzug von Marignano (1898; 600x892pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2081pix)
Eiger, Mönch und Jungfrau von der Schynigen-Platte aus gesehen (600x820pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1913pix)
Der philosophierende Arbeiter (600x420pix _ ZOOM to 1400x980pix)
Der Auszug deutscher Studenten in den Freiheitskrieg von 1813 (1909; 600x884pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2063pix) and its exact mirror image Aufbruch der Jenenser (1909; 600x912pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2128pix) _ the model for the student in the center is the future economist Walter Eucken [17 Jan 1891 – 20 Mar 1950], son of the philosopher Rudolf Eucken [05 Jan 1846 – 14 Sep 1926], a friend of Hodler.
Lesender Mann (73x60cm)
Thunersee (1900)
Am Genfersee aka Landschaftlicher Formenrhythmus (677x900pix, 147kb) _ Applying the power of negative thinking to this picture, the pseudonymous Ferdelanse Badlair has put much more rhythm into evolving the symmetrical abstraction I Am Going For to See the Mine Shaft in the Land For Men of Rythm aka Rift Fir (2006; screen filling, 188kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1163kb).
Tired of Life (1892, 150x294cm)
The Chosen One
The Convalescent (1880)
Louise-Delphine Duchosal (1885)
Surprised by the Storm (1887)
Emotion (1902)
—(060508)
^ Born on 19 May 1593: Claude Vignon, French painter and engraver who died on 10 May 1670. — {Il manquait d'er pour être vigneron.}
— Vignon was born in Tours and active mainly in Paris. His richly eclectic style was formed mainly in Italy, where he worked from 1616 to 1622, and his openness to very diverse influences was later fueled by his activities as a picture dealer. Paradoxically, in view of his varied sources of inspiration, his style is the most distinctive of any French painter of his generation — highly colored and often bizarrely expressive. Elsheimer and the Caravaggisti were strong influences on his handling of light, and his richly encrusted brushwork has striking affinities with Rembrandt, whose work he is known to have sold. Vignon is said to have fathered more than twenty children by his two wives, and his sons Claude the Younger [1633-1703] and Philippe [1638-1701] were also painters.

LINKS
Esther before Ahasuerus (1624, 80x119cm) _ Vignon's passion for over-elaboration is seen in this picture. It seems that he enjoyed painting awkward human situations like this when Esther confronts Ahasuerus. The picture has also been identified as depicting Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant (1629, 105x149cm) After his return from Rome to Paris in 1624, Vignon became enormously prolific; a huge number of pictures, several hundred in all, were documented at the time of his death. As he matured in Paris and lightened his palette a little, Vignon still maintained his sense of drama. For example, in his Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant, there is a lessening of interest in bizarre surface texture, and the poses of the figures round the table show a return to the conventions of Caravaggism. There is some doubt about the identification of the main figure as Croesus, but the story fits enough. The moral is clear - great wealth is amassed by cruel methods.
The Young Singer (1623, 95x90cm) _ The earliest Mannerist influences on Vignon, which probably occurred before he left for Rome, must have been submerged while he was in Italy. That Vignon's Caravaggism was perfectly competent is shown by the fact that his work effectively merged with that of his contemporaries. This had led to great difficulties in defining his Roman oeuvre.
—(060508)
^ Died on 19 May 1845: William John Huggins, London painter born in 1781, specialized in Maritime Scenes.
— After several years at sea in the service of the East India Company, Huggins settled again in his native London. His house at 36 Leadenhall Street was near East India House, and he was regularly employed to paint carefully detailed pictures of the company’s ships. He exhibited 16 marine paintings at the Royal Academy between 1817 and 1844 and also showed at the British Institution and Suffolk Street.
      Huggins was appointed Marine Painter to William IV in 1834. His royal commissions include three paintings of the Battle of Trafalgar. His daughter married Edward Duncan [1803–1882], a talented watercolorist and engraver, who engraved many of Huggins’s paintings and sometimes acted as his assistant.
— Of Huggins' early life little is known but who is first recorded as an ‘ordinary seaman’ serving as steward and assistant to the purser on the East Indiaman Perseverance, on a voyage to Bombay and China in 1812–1814.
      The subject of Indiamen in the East was a familiar one to Huggins who had probably begun his working life at sea and served in the East India Company as a steward and assistant purser on board the Perseverance, which sailed for Bombay and China in December 1812, returning in August 1814. He had established himself as a marine painter by 1817, close to the London headquarters of the Company in Leadenhall Street, where he worked for the rest of his life. Specializing in ship's portraits, he was prolific and popular, largely though the lithographs made by his assistant Edward Duncan, who was also his son-in-law from 1834. In 1830 Huggins became marine painter to the 'Sailor king' William IV, who had been a naval officer and according to Samuel Redgrave 'esteemed his work rather for its correctness than its art'. Duncan married Huggins's daughter, Bertha, and he collaborated with his father-in-law on pictures.
      Huggins made at least one voyage to China in East India Company service before establishing himself as a marine painter in London by 1817. His last voyage to the East was probably as assistant to the purser in the Perseverance, which sailed for Bombay and China in December 1812 and returned in August 1814. Many of his early exhibits at the Royal Academy were portraits of East India Company ships. Specializing in ship portraits, he was prolific and popular, largely though the lithographs made by his assistant Edward Duncan, who was also his son-in-law from 1834. In 1830 he became marine painter to the 'Sailor king' William IV (George IV's brother), who had been a naval officer and according to Samuel Redgrave 'esteemed his work rather for its correctness than its art'.
      From this, and any other voyages he may have made, he probably returned with sketches which lasted him many years, though he may have also used other peoples’. For example he knew Clarkson Stanfield in the early 1820s, after the latter had also returned as a seaman from a China voyage (in 1816) and was starting his career as a theater scene painter, marine and landscape artist. By the time Huggins first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817, he had set himself up as a marine painter and ship portraitist in Leadenhall Street, London, close to East India House where he remained for the rest of his life, last exhibiting at the Academy in 1844. He appears to have had some early help from Thomas Duncan [1779–1841], a ship decorator, art teacher and print colorist whose son Edward Duncan [1803–1882] in turn worked with Huggins, lithographed about 150 of his pictures, and in 1834 married his eldest daughter, Bertha. Huggins’ work, both original and in copious reproduction as prints by Duncan and others, found a ready market among merchants and seamen. There are 18 ship portraits by him, and eight other oil subjects, in the National Maritime Museum, London, as well as drawings and prints.
      His range also included battle scenes and in September 1830 he was appointed Marine Painter to the ‘sailor king’ William IV who commissioned three views of the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805, from him: all are still in the Royal Collection. Huggins’s popularity among seamen of his time is almost as well known as the derogatory remarks they often made of Turner’s marine work in comparison to it, a situation which caused Ruskin to declare (in The Harbours of England) that, to him, a ship at sea by ‘Uggins (sic) looked no better than a correct model sailed across a pond. While admittedly far removed from Turner, time has been kinder to Huggins than Ruskin and other aesthetic critics. As a whole his work is a valuable record of the shipping of his period. A great deal remains in circulation and it often commands substantial prices. One of Huggins’s sons, James Miller Huggins [1807–>1865] was also a marine painter and etched some of his father’s marine sketches. Another son, John W. Huggins [1809–] also etched examples. The marine painter Samuel Walters probably also had some connection with Huggins in the early 1840s since he exhibited at the Academy from the same address in the two years (1846–1847) immediately following his death.

LINKS
East Indiamen in the China Seas (1828, 116x182cm; 440x700pix, 48kb) _ This painting depicts the ships named at the base of the canvas: Ceres, Lowther Castle, Glatton, Marquis of Ely, Princess Amelia, Winchelsea (in the center) and Castle Huntley. There are problems concerning the dating of the vessels. The seven ships were never in the China Seas at the same time and the only moment when all were together was between February and August 1814. Ceres, Marquis of Ely, Princess Amelia and Lowther Castle were part of a returning convoy from the east, reaching their mooring on 09-10 August, and Winchelsea, Glatton and Castle Huntley were members of an outgoing convoy that departed on 22 February 1814.
     The painting was exhibited with a diploma at the Naval Exhibition in Chelsea, 1891 (no. 731). It is signed 'W. J. Huggins and E. Duncan, Sept 18?', the exact date being illegible. For this image it is generally accepted that Duncan painted the water and Huggins the ships.
George IV on board the Lightning, the first Post Office Steam Packet to Dublin, 12 August 1821 (1822, 940x152cm; 407x700pix, 38kb) _ At the end of May 1821, after some reluctance, the British Post Office introduced the first two steam mail-packets, Lightning and Meteor, at Holyhead to carry the mails and passengers to Dublin. In the year following his accession, King George IV paid a state visit to Ireland. He sailed as far as Holyhead on the royal yacht, Royal George, when he met contrary winds. So he took the unprecedented step of transferring to the steam-packet Lightning, setting sail on 07 August.
      The painting is set off the coast of Holyhead, visible in the distance on the left. To the right of center, in bright light, the Lightning is depicted in starboard broadside, smoke billowing from its funnel, with the King and his entourage visible on the deck. To the left is the Royal George, still flying the Royal Standard, although the King had embarked on the steam-packet which only flies the ensign, and on the far left the other steam-packet, Meteor. The picture is framed on the far right by an escorting frigate in bow view, flying a signal flag and pennant. It fires a farewell salute and has been depicted in shadow to imply the end of the era of sail.
      Lightning, with Sir Francis Freeling, the Secretary of the Post Office also on board, arrived in Dublin the next day, followed by the Royal George, the Meteor and the rest of the squadron. No one in Dublin realized that the King was on board the Lightning, which resulted in a distinctly informal beginning to the state visit, much to his amusement. In honor of the occasion the vessel was renamed the Royal Sovereign King George the Fourth, later shortened to Royal Sovereign R, R Sovereign or Sovereign.
The East Indiaman Asia (1836, 81x127cm; 440x700pix, 50kb) _ The ship was built in 1811. In 1831-1832 it sailed to Madras, Bengal, and China. It is shown off Hong Kong between 1831 and 1832, towards the end of its career. The artist has depicted her in starboard broadside, flying the red ensign and distinguishing flags. Chinese junks have been shown to left and right of the Asia, with more European shipping in the right distance depicted in front of an island.
–- An East Indiaman Entering Madras Harbour, India (75x140cm; 892x1720pix, 107kb _ or see a yellowish reproduction 514x1000pix, 68kb) _ the original was auctioned at Sotheby's on 04 July 2002 for £14'340.
South Sea Whale Fishery [1834, colored aquatint engraved by Edward Duncan (1804-1882)] _ This is the companion print to Huggins and Duncan’s Northern Whale Fishery (1829). This scene became immensely popular and was widely emulated. Thomas Beale printed a simplified version of it in his seminal book, The Natural History of the Sperm Whale (1839); and it was from Beale that Herman Melville knew it and mentions it in Moby-Dick (1851) as “Huggins’s Whale.” Later it served as the inspiration for a famous US print by Albert van Beest, R. Swain Gifford, and Benjamin Russell, entitled Sperm Whaling N°2 -- The Capture (1862). Huggins, a seaman in his youth, learned to draw ships aboard the East India Company ship Perseverance. A distinguished ship portraitist and painter of naval scenes, he was appointed official Marine Painter to King William IV “the Sailor King” in 1834, the year that South Sea Whale Fishery was published.
–- Blackwall Frigate Madagascar  Off Dover (1841, 91x130cm; 892x1291pix, 53kb) _ The Madagascar was built in 1837 at the Blackwall yard on the Thames and resembled the Seringapatam. As one of the Blackwall frigates it was renowned for its speed and on one occasion ran from the Cape to the Channel in 43 days. However, mystery surrounds the fate of the ship, which disappeared when homeward bound from Melbourne in 1853. _ See
      _ The Indiaman Seringapatam arriving home (1839, 66x109cm; 351x565pix, 36kb) by G. W. Butland. The Seringapatam, built by Richard Green of Blackwall in 1837, was the prototype of the last generation of East Indiamen. The principal improvement was the suppression of the coach and the lengthening of the quarter-deck to compensate for loss of passenger accommodation. The resulting design assumed the layout of a frigate and the Seringapatam and those Indiamen that followed became known as Blackwall frigates. Their speed enabled private enterprise successfully to challenge the slow Indiamen of the old East India Company and its monopoly of trade with India. The Blackwall shipbuilding yard in London was the largest private shipyard in the world.
British Sailing Ship (83x128cm)
A Tiger and a Serpent (1841, 61x71cm)
A Lion (1840, 61x71cm)
—(080519)
^ Born on 19 May 1593: Jacob Jordaens I, baptized on 20 May 1593, Antwerp painter, tapestry designer, and draftsman, who died on 18 October 1678.
— In the context of 17th-century Flemish art, Jordaens is a somewhat complicated figure. His oeuvre, the fruit of a continual artistic development, is characterized by great stylistic versatility, to which the length of his career contributed. His religious, mythological and historical representations evolved from the rhetorical prolixity of the Baroque into a vernacular, sometimes almost caricatural, formal idiom. The lack of idealistic treatment in his work is undoubtedly the factor that most removed Jordaens’s art from that of his great Flemish contemporaries Rubens and van Dyck. Jordaens’s officially commissioned works included many paintings in which the sublimity of the subject-matter clashed with the vulgarity of some of his figures. Unlike Rubens and van Dyck, both of whom were knighted in the course of their careers, Jordaens was, in fact, completely ignored by the courts of Spain and Brussels, and he did not receive a single significant commission from Italy, France, or England. Only once did Charles I of England grant him a commission, and then under less than favorable circumstances. After Rubens’s death in 1640, Jordaens became the most prominent artist in the southern Netherlands. Only then did he receive royal commissions, but these came from the north, where pomp and circumstance were avoided and few demands were made in the way of Baroque perfection. Until then, his patrons had come almost entirely from among the prosperous bourgeoisie. The people of the social circles in which he moved were far less demanding of life, and they manifested a certain indifference towards the values of the culturally refined.
— Jordaens was the student and son-in-law of Adam van Noort. Although Jordaens often assisted Rubens, he had a flourishing studio of his own by the 1620s, and after Rubens's death in 1640 he was the leading figure painter in Flanders. His style was heavily indebted to Rubens, but was much more earthbound, using thick impasto, strong contrasts of light and shade, and coloring that is often rather lurid. His physical types, too, are coarser than Rubens's and his name is particularly associated with large canvases of hearty rollicking peasants. Two of his favorite subjects, which he depicted several times are The Satyr and the Peasant, based on one of Aesop's fables, and The King Drinks, which depicts a boisterous group enjoying an abundant Epiphany feast. Jordaens's prolific output, however, included many other subjects, including religious works and portraits, and he also etched and made designs for tapestries. He rarely left his native Antwerp, but commissions came from all over Europe, the most important being The Triumph of Frederick Hendrik (1652), an enormous composition painted for the Huis ten Bosch, the royal villa near The Hague. In about 1655 Jordaens became a Calvinist; he continued to paint pictures for Catholic churches, but the work of the last two decades of his life is more subdued.
— Jordaens' students included Johann Boeckhorst, Leendert van der Cooghen, Johann Ulrich Mayr, Jan Tricius.
^
LINKS

Self Portrait among Parents, Brothers and Sisters (1615, 178x138cm) _ An early painting of the artist. Its datation is possible from the knowledge of the ages of the family members. _ detail _ the artist, head and shoulder.
The Family of the Artist (1621, 181x187cm)
Let the Little Children Come to Me (600x990pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2309pix, 858kb)
— badlinkSF#>The Holy Family (1617, 124x93cm; 1/8 size, 69kb _ badlinkSF#>ZOOM to 1/4 size, 232kb _ badlinkSF#>ZOOM+ to 1/2 size, 877kb _ badlinkSF#>ZOOM++ to full size, 3293kb)
— badlinkSF#>Thetis and Achilles Before the Oracle (1625 tapestry, 225x305cm; 1/8 size, 297kb _ badlinkSF#>ZOOM to 1/4 size, 1031kb _ badlinkSF#>ZOOM++ to 1/2 size, 3848kb) _ According to ancient Greek myths the nereid Thetis had dipped her newborn son Achilles in the waters of the River Styx, by which he became invulnerable, except for the part of his heel by which she held him. In this picture, she brings Achilles, now a young boy, to an oracle and hears that Achilles will die fighting Troy. So Achilles is dressed as a girl and sent to hide among the daughters of a king. But, perhaps twenty or so years later, when the Trojan War is about to start, the Greeks, who have learned from a soothsayer that they cannot win without Achilles, seek him out and find him. He becomes the bravest, handsomest, and greatest warrior of the Greek army of Agamemnon during the ten-year war, which ends in victory for the Greeks (thanks to the Trojan horse). But Achilles had managed to anger the god Apollo, who in a late battle guided the poisoned arrow of the son of the king of Troy to the heel of Achilles, who was thus killed as predicted.
The Bean King (1655, 242x300cm) _ detail _ Jordaens painted several versions of the subject, representing a popular custom, the feast of the Bean King.
The Bean King or same The Bean King (1638, 160x213cm) _ detail _ Jordaens was one of Rubens' most promising students and upon his master's death acquired the title of "principal Antwerp painter". The painting captures The Festival of the Bean King - celebrated on January 6th. A pie containing a single bean is served on this day and the guest who receives it becomes the "Bean King". Three people are recognizable in the painting: "The Bean King" - Jordaens' father-in-law; the woman to the left - Jordaens' wife, Yelizabeth; and the man with the upraised pitcher, Jordaens himself.
— a different The Bean King
The King Drinks (1638)
The King Drinks (156x210cm) _ This lavish depiction originates in the custom, on the Feast of the Epiphany popularly known as “the Feast of the Three Kings“ (06 January), of proclaiming king for the evening the person finding a bean hidden in his tart, and having him select his court from among those present. In the middle, behind the festive board, laden with expensive dinnerware, waffles, pastries and wine, sits enthroned the king of the evening. We recognize the old man as Jordaens' father-in-law, the painter Adam van Noort. He raises his glass to his mouth, at which everyone loudly proclaims: "The king drinks!". To the right of the festive pig the court musician is enlivening the solemn moment with his bagpipes, and next to him his butler lifts wine jug and glass with a sweeping gesture. To the left the court fool responds by raising his lighted pipe. The boisterous reactions of the other guests show that they have already indulged heavily in food and drink. In the right foreground a mother has to clean her crying child. To the left a bragging man lifts his cap and can into the air, whilst a dog jumps up at the surrounding hullabaloo. The drunkard in the left foreground, in the process of vomiting, grabs giddily at the back of a chair, tipping a set of drinking vessels noisily to the ground. Certain art historians have seen in this depiction of extreme merriment a turning away from such behaviour by a soberly inclined artist who had become a Protestant in later life. This interpretation may well be as unsatisfactory as the earlier reading of it as an ode to pleasure within the warm family circle, a concept so popular that it even founds its way onto biscuit tin lids. The surfeit to which Jordaens' figures are giving themselves over, but which is not really doing them much good, receives a somewhat ambivalent commentary in the cartouche in the top centre: "In een vry gelachllst goet gast syn" (where there is a free meal it is good to be a guest). A contradiction appears to exist between the message and the scene confronting us. Here the realisation that one should count oneself lucky not to have to pay the bill leads too far from pleasant excesses. Jordaens' presentation is therefore not free from a certain amount of irony. _ Compare The King Drinks (The Beanfeast) (1655; 663x800pix, 148kb) by Metsu [Jan 1629 – 24 Oct 1667 bur.] _ Twelfth-Night (the King Drinks) (1640, 58x70cm; 700x891pix, 163kb) by David Teniers II [bap. 15 Dec 1610 – 25 Apr 1690] _ and the unrelated (this one is the solitary king of the jungle) The King Drinks (1881; 61x91cm) by Rivière [14 Aug 1840 – 20 Apr 1920]
Prometheus Bound (1640, 245x178cm) _ Jordaens's painting is a variation on a theme that Rubens attempted early in his career and which derived formally from studies by Michelangelo.
Allegory of Fertility (1623, 180x241cm) _ This is without doubt one of Jacob Jordaens' most magnificent compositions and one of the most successful examples of his cooperation with still-life specialist Frans Snyders. In this work, painted around 1623, a good eight years after Jordaens had become a free master, the painter is at the peak of his career. Nothing remains of the clumsiness of his youthful work. Whether the eye stays on the anatomy or the expressions of the figures, on their rhythmic ordering or their gestures, or enjoys the creamy, confident paint strokes or the alternation between the golden light and the transparent shadows, or is tempted by the rich colors of Snyders' opulent fruits: everywhere it senses the same impressive harmony.
     The life-size figures, allowing only a glimpse of the landscape to show through, unfold like a sculpted frieze on both sides of a female nude, seen from behind, standing slightly off centre and so introducing a certain dynamism into the composition. Her nakedness catches the full light and draws the viewer's attention. A golden glow strokes her skin, in which nothing reminds us of the cold stone from which her sculptural monumentality initially seems to originate. Rather, as a nymph she belongs, together with her female companions and the satyrs surrounding her, to the category of beings between humans, gods and animals which in antiquity embodied the untameable powers of nature. The grapes that they are all gathering possibly symbolise the rich fertility of nature. For this reason the identification of the nymph seen from behind as "Humanity" is not convincing. Just as unsatisfactory is the identification of the woman in a red mantle to her right as Pomona, the goddess of fruit.
     The cornucopia on the far right is a reference to Ovid's Metamorphoses, which tells how it came into being when the horn of Achelous, metamorphosed into a bull, broke off in his fight with Hercules. It was not Pomona but the water nymphs or naiads that afterwards filled it with fruit. In Jordaens' picture we do not, however, find the unambiguous references to Hercules and his unfortunate opponent, making it difficult to correctly title this masterpiece.
— a different Allegory of Fertility (119x182cm)
Education of Jupiter (61x75cm) _ The court painters Rubens and Van Dyck regarded art as an elevated intellectual activity and were firmly convinced that the creation of art was on a far loftier plane than any other manual work. Jordaens was rooted in a section of society bounded by more modest horizons. He devoted his life to furthering his personal prosperity, and considered that his material wealth and skill as an artist earned him the right to enjoy the status of a respected citizen. This somewhat bourgeois element is also reflected in his oeuvre, even in the mythological works such as The Education ofJupiter, in which the inhabitants of Olympus appear to be taken straight from everyday life, in spite of their nakedness.
As the Old Sang the Young Play Pipes (1638, 192x120cm) _ detail _ The work depicting the theme of As the Old Sang, the Young Play Pipes, signed by Jordaens and dated 1638, is the earliest known version of this highly popular theme which the artist painted and drew on a variety of occasions. This wonderful family concert shows Jordaens at his best.
Satyr at the Peasant's House (1620, 195x204cm)
Satyr and Peasant (188x168cm) _ The theme is taken from a fable by the ancient Greek author Aesop. In the right foreground a satyr gets up brusquely from a table to which he has been invited by a peasant family, and admonishes his host, sitting to the left, for cooling his hot porridge by blowing on it, whereas earlier he had warmed his cold hands with the same breath when traveling home with the satyr. The peasant “blows both hot and cold”. This still popular expression means that someone does not take a clear position and is therefore unreliable.
     The earnestness of this moralizing message appears, however, to be lost on this country group. The satyr's approach is greeted rather with astonishment. The plump young farmer's wife stops eating, but looks like she still does not understand clearly what is going on. Her child is uninterested by the satyr and looks at the viewer rascally. From inside the shadowed canopy of her wicker chair the grandmother bends her wrinkled head, in pointed contrast to the flushed head of the young peasant woman in the same pose beneath her. To the left the composition is rounded off by a fresh, softly smiling milkmaid. The lumbering dog under the table and the cock proudly enthroned on top of grandmother's chair seem equally unperturbed. The very low horizon, just visible under the peasant's chair, makes the country people tower above the viewer, lending them an imposing monumentality which one would normally expect with high-born people. As simple people they take, with a certain dignity, their appointed place in the social order.
     Jordaens' lifelike characterization of the peasants, full of insight into human nature, and their closeness to nature expressed in their unpolished manners must have strongly seduced the city-dwellers commissioning these tableaux, who considered themselves as more civilized. In a later version, also in the Brussels museum, the fable appears to turn into a good-humored joke. There the warm palette and the rich texture have made way for the more even reproduction of colors and materials that are typical of the artist's later work. Jordaens' oeuvre contains various other paintings on this theme, including a duplicate of this one.
     This story, in both its versions (below), is a favorite of not only of Jordaens but of other Northern European genre or moral painters. Interestingly, however, these painters brought the satyr into the peasant's cottage, along with all the family members, the family dog, oxen, and roosters. Clearly they wanted to round off their moral lessons with a rich picture of a contemporary household--not to mention dramatizing the sexual tensions between the satyr and the women in that same household.
     (Version 1) A Man had lost his way in a wood one bitter winter's night. As he was roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he had lost his way, promised to give him a lodging for the night, and guide him out of the forest in the morning. As he went along to the Satyr's cell, the Man raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on blowing at them. “What do you do that for?” said the Satyr. “My hands are numb with the cold,” said the Man, “and my breath warms them.” After this they arrived at the Satyr's home, and soon the Satyr put a smoking dish of soup before him. But when the Man raised his spoon to his mouth he began blowing upon it. “And what do you do that for?” said the Satyr. “The soup is too hot, and my breath will cool it.” “Out you go,” said the Satyr. “I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.”
      (Version 2) A Man and a Satyr once drank together in token of a bond of alliance being formed between them. One very cold wintry day, as they talked, the Man put his fingers to his mouth and blew on them. When the Satyr asked the reason for this, he told him that he did it to warm his hands because they were so cold. Later on in the day they sat down to eat, and the food prepared was quite scalding. The Man raised the hot soup to his mouth and blew on it. When the Satyr again inquired the reason, he said that he did it to cool the broth, which was too hot. “I can no longer consider you as a friend,” said the Satyr, “a fellow who with the same breath blows hot and cold."

— See The Satyr and the Peasant Family (1662, 51x46cm) by Jan Steen [1626 – 03 Feb 1679]. — The Satyr and the Peasant (1626, 133x167cm) by Jan Liss [1595-1629]
The Four Evangelists (1625, 133x118cm) _ In the 17th century, following the example given by the Carracci and by Caravaggio, painters depicted the Evangelists as robust men of the people. This picture, which dates from between 1620 and 1625, is painted in vigorous and thick brushwork - a technique very different from that of Rubens.
Meleager and Atalanta (1618, 152x120cm) _ Jordaens's artistic aspirations did not extend quite so high as those of Rubens. Jordaens showed himself to be an uncomplicated member of the middle-class, and there is little room in his work for reflection or any feeling of transcendence. Although he never visited Italy, he was strongly influenced by Caravaggio. Traces of this influence are visible in the contrast between light and dark which serves to heighten the dramatic tension of his Meleager and Atalanta. The painting's subject is taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses.
An Apostle (1625, 69x52cm) _ Jordaens painted a series of apostles between 1623 and 1625. The model of these characteristic heads was Abraham Graphäus, the messenger of the Saint Luke Guild in Antwerp.
Studies of the Head of Abraham Grapheus (45x52cm) _ Like Rubens, Jordaens ran a large workshop with numerous assistants. The paintings in the various museums undoubtedly include a variety of workshop products, in which the master had only a partial hand. Jordaens' skilful technique and deft observation can, however, be admired in their purest form in the double Studies of the Head of Abraham Grapheus. The artist must have been especially inspired by the shaggy head of his model — a messenger at the Antwerp Painters' Guild — as he appears in many of his paintings, for example the head of a satyr on the right of Allegory of Fertility (800x1080pix, 166kb) and the head of Saint Mark at the right of The Four Evangelists (924x804pix, 232kb). Grapheus also appears in paintings by Cornelis de Vos [1584-1651], by Frans Pourbus I (Abraham Grapheus), and by the young van Dyck (as The Penitent Apostle Saint Peter, 1617; 850x657pix, 114kb)
Eating Man
Nymphs at the Fountain of Love (1630, 131x127cm)
Saint Charles Cares for the Plague Victims of Milan (1655)
Offering to Ceres, Goddess of Harvest (1620, 165x112cm)
Portrait of a Young Married Couple (1620)
Adoration by the Shepherds
The Holy Family with Saint Anne, the Young Baptist, and his Parents
Assumption of the Virgin (280x178cm)
The Four Fathers of the Latin Church (182x243cm)
Christ Driving the Merchants from the Temple
 
^ Died on 19 May (Oct?) 1954: Max Oppenheimer “MOpp”, Austrian painter and printmaker born on 01 July 1885. After receiving training at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna (1900–1903), and the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (1903–1906), he contributed, along with Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, to the development of Austrian Expressionist painting. The three painters influenced each other’s work in varying degrees. In their ‘psychological portraits’, such as Oppenheimer’s painting of the composer Anton Webern (1909), they tried to capture the sitters’ mental characteristics. Existential needs and fears were a dominant theme of their paintings, Oppenheimer frequently depicting Christian themes, while such provocative paintings as Operation (1912) reveal a close affinity to the literature of the period in the way that shocking subject-matter becomes a weapon in the fight against a reality that is felt to be unbearable. In Berlin from 1912, Oppenheimer made drawings for the Expressionist magazine Die Aktion and began to make etchings. Between 1915 and 1916 he moved to Zürich, where, after a series of Cubist and Futurist still-lifes and contact with Dada, he finally found his own subject-matter: the presentation of music in painting using Futurist stylistic devices. This reached its peak with a glorification of music, the monumental Orchestra (1923). In Berlin in the 1920s, Oppenheimer, who had officially taken the name Mopp in 1919, although he had signed his pictures with it since 1910, achieved an individual style of portraying the people and atmospheres of the modern city, using a mixture of Futurism and Neue Sachlichkeit, as in The Editor (1927; destroyed some 12 years later), or scenes from the world of sport such as Six-day Race in the Berlin Sportpalast (1929). With his return to Vienna in 1932, and then his exile to New York via Zürich (1938–1939), his work increasingly deteriorated into a mediocre form of late Impressionism. Im Spannungsfeld der Kunstmetropolen Wien, Berlin, Zürich und Genf, zwischen denen er bis 1939 rastlos pendelte, nahm Oppenheimer stets neue Impulse auf, um diese in seinen persönlichen Stil zu integrieren, der - weniger auf Radikalität bedacht - vor allem um malerische Raffinesse bemüht war.

String Quartet (oval 370x415pix, 46kb)
Der Weltkrieg (1916, 53x45cm; 364x300pix, 145kb)
Ferruccio Busoni (1916 monochrome; 600x600pix)
Martin Hahn (1926, 98x88cm; 390x350pix, 79kb)
Thomas Mann (1913 sketch, 21x18cm; 306x235pix, 171kb gif)
Sigmund Rosenbaum (1935, 63x60cm; 635x600pix, 99kb) _ Der Porträtierte Sigmund Rosenbaum (1867-1945) war Druckereibesitzer in Wien. Die Druckerei Rosenbaum gab unter anderem im Jahre 1911 eine Autobiografie von Max Oppenheimer , die in "Bildende Künstler - Monatszeitschrift für Künstler und Kunstfreunde" erschien, heraus.
Geigen, Hände, Noten (40x81cm; 224x450pix, 32kb)

Pisko (1911, 83x51cm; 618x385pix, 128kb)
Stilleben mit Radieschen (1934, 32x45cm; 427x600pix, 76kb)
—(060518)

Died on a 19 May:


1914 Cesare Augusto Detti, Italian artist born (main coverage) on 28 December 1847. —(080516)

>1897 John Thomas Peele, British painter born on 11 April 1822. — {Is it true that a Peele appeal is only skin deep in the eye of the beholder?}
The Song of the Shirt (1847, 6x51cm; 963x754pix, 120kb)
The approach of an enemy (71x91cm; 473x640pix, 35kb) young children hold a mouse (?) and a bird in a small cage away from a cat.
Feeding the pets (102x119cm; 480x572pix, 44kb) a boy and two guinea pigs.
The knitting lesson (1858, 91x71cm; 480x369pix, 41kb) —(080517)

1893 Franz Rheinhold, Austrian artist born (main coverage) on 19 December 1816. —(080516)

1814 Michel-Pierre Hubert-Descours II, French painter born on 27 February 1741, son of Michel Hubert-Descours [12 Sep 1707 – 17 Nov 1775). — {Est-ce que Descours donnait des cours? des Descours? Dédé courre?} —(080516)

>1722 Jan-Karel-Donatus van Beecq, Dutch painter born in 1638. — {Why didn't they just name him “Bill”?} — He was a marine painter, who spent most of his life in Paris.
Dutch Warships before Amsterdam (58x83cm; 445x640pix, 52kb)
A capriccio view of the port of Antwerp 1673, 58x91cm)
The morning gun (56x84cm). —(080517).

^ 1668 Philips Wouwerman (or Wouwermans) ], Haarlem, Netherlands, painter and draftsman, baptized as an infant on 24 May 1619, eldest son of painter Pauwels Joostens Wouwerman of Alkmaar [–28 Sep 1642], whose two other sons, Pieter Wouwerman [1623–1682] and Johannes Wouwerman [1629–1666], also became painters. Philips probably received his first painting lessons from his father, none of whose work has been identified. Philips Wouwerman was next apprenticed to Frans Hals, although no trace of Hals’s influence is discernible in Wouwerman’s work. Wouwerman is also reputed to have spent several weeks in 1638 or 1639 working in Hamburg in the studio of the German history painter Evert Decker [–1647]. While in Hamburg, Philips Wouwerman married Annetje Pietersz. van Broeckhof. On 04 September 1640 Wouwerman joined the Guild of Saint Luke in Haarlem, in which, in 1646, he held the office of vinder (agent or ‘finder’).
     Given the many southern elements in Wouverman's landscapes, it may be supposed that Wouwerman traveled to France or Italy, but there is no evidence that he left his native Haarlem for more than short periods. During his lifetime he must have attained a certain degree of prosperity, as demonstrated by the relatively large sums inherited by each of his seven children after his wife’s death in 1670. It has been said that Wouverman's daughter Ludovica took with her a dowry of 20'000 guilders when she married the painter Hendrik de Fromantiou [1633-1695+] in 1672.

^ 1647 Sebastiaen Vrancx (or Vranckx, Franks, Francken), Flemish painter and draftsmaen baptized as an infaent on 22 January 1573. — {Why didn't they just name him “Wienie”?}— He is best known for his depictions of battle scenes and was probably the first artist in the Netherlands to attempt this subject-matter. He also painted genre subjects. He was influenced by contemporary Italian painting and the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. — Pieter Snayers was a student of Vrancx. — LINKS
Attack on a Wagon Trail (1612; 600x950pix, _ ZOOM to 1400x2216pix) _ flying above the mayhem, it seems that an eagle has just dropped a snake (or is it a smudge on the canvas?)
Ambush (1630, 44x64cm; 650x945pix, 114kb)
January (27x37cm; 650x905pix, 150kb) _ detail (820x717pix, 140kb) _ The painting belongs to a series representing the 12 months, of which Vrancx made several versions.
The Siege of Ostend (536x800pix, 117kb) —(060518)


Born on a 19 May:


^ 1880 Maximilien “Max” Clarenbach, German artist who died in 1952. — {There is no record of Clarenbach having gone to Saint Clair and back.}
–- Snow Covered Landscape (1154x1500pix, 203kb)
Vorfrühling (1917 black-and-white; 600x776pix) —(070516)

^ 1857 Jean Paul Sinibaldi, French artist who died in January 1909. — {Was he known as the “baldy sinner”?}— Elève de Cabanel et de Alfred Stevens, il débute au Salon de 1881 et expose au Salon des Artistes Français, principalement des scènes de genre et des sujets d'histoire. En 1886 il obtient le second prix de Rome. Il se tourne vers la peinture décorative. Il obtient une bourse de voyage en 1888 grâce à sa Fille des Rajahs.
A Meeting in the Garden (66x46cm)
An Elegant Lady with a Paris Street Beyond (31x27cm)

^ 1839 Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel, French painter who died in 1929. He specialized in historical genre scenes featuring cavaliers and elegantly dressed ladies. He was born on in Genets and studied in Paris. He was greatly influenced by Jean Louis Meissonier [1815-1891] and his style was derived from a study of 17th Century Dutch painting. Lesrel's best work is characterized by superb attention to detail. He presents a romantic view in historical costume studies with an extraordinary virtuosity in his rendering of the textures of silver, glass, silk and satin. Everything is minutely observed and his sense of color and composition is outstanding. Costumes, gowns, furniture objects d'art were all carefully researched to ensure the historical accuracy of his work.— {Is Lesrel less real because there is not much of him on the internet?}
Captivated (620x500pix, 73kb)
The Recital (1902, 53x26cm _ ZOOM to 1222x1500pix, 298kb)
A Sporting Tale (1910, 71x48cm; 480x391pix, 53kb)
— /S#*>The Cavaliers (799xpix, 83kb) _ Two of them, holding a full wine glass in the right hand and a musket in the left; plus an attendant with the bottle.
The Cavalier (1887, 32x22cm; 480x314pix, 35kb) —(060518)

1820 Celestino Martínez Sánchez, Venezuelan artist and writer who died (main coverage) on 23 December 1885. —(081222)

1812 Jacob Albrecht Michael Jacobs, Belgian artist who died on 09 Dec or 10 Dec 1879.

1806 Pierre Justin Ouvrié, French artist who died on 23 October 1879, and who may or may not have been born on 19 January 1806 rather than 19 May. — {A son oeuvre on connait un Ouvrié, malheureusement je n'en trouve aucun échantillon sur l'Internet}

1803 Martinus Christian Wesseltoft Rorbye, Danish artist who died on 29 August 1848. — {They hadn't invented motorcycles back then, so on what did he roar by?}

^ 1800 Sarah Miriam Peale, Philadelphia painter specialized in still life and portraits, who died on 04 February 1885. — {Is it true that the beauty of a Peale is only skin deep in the eye of the beholder?}— She was the most notable of the painting daughters of James Peale [1749 – 24 May 1831]; the other two were Anna Claypoole Peale [06 Mar 1791 – 25 Dec 1878] and Margaretta Angelica Peale [01 Oct 1795 – 17 Jan 1882]. Sarah also studied under her uncle Charles Willson Peale [15 Apr 1741 – 22 Feb 1827] and his son Rembrandt Peale [22 Feb 1778 – 03 Oct 1860], from whom she developed her talent for color and precision in details. As studio assistant to her father, she occasionally introduced into his work bright and intricate fabrics. Her career began in 1817 with the exhibition of Flowers at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In the 1820s she painted in Baltimore and Philadelphia; in 1824 she was elected to the Pennsylvania Academy. From 1831 to 1846 she maintained her studio in Baltimore where she was a popular portrait painter, producing unpretentious but intelligent and occasionally romantic portraits characterized by a fine concern for materials, as in Mrs Perry Eccleston Noel (1822). Her sitters included such prominent politicians as Daniel Webster (1842) and Abel Park Upshur (1842). In 1847 Sarah moved to St Louis MO, where for 32 years she was in great demand. From 1859 her still-lifes won prizes at the St. Louis fairs; they were loosely painted works different from the tightly controlled table-top pieces of her father and sister. Sarah’s portraiture also changed, from the elegant, precise Neo-classicism learnt from her cousin Rembrandt to a looser, easier handling. In 1878 Sarah returned to Philadelphia to spend her last years with her sisters Anna Claypoole Peale [06 Mar 1791 – 25 Dec 1878] and Margaretta Angelica Peale [01 Oct 1795 – 17 Jan 1882]. She was the first successful woman artist in the US and, with her sister Anna Peale, one of the first two to achieve full professional standing. — LINKS
Self-Portrait
Children of Commodore John Daniel Danels (1826)
Mrs. William Crane (1840, 76x63cm; 340x278pix, 22kb) _ Jean Nevin Daniel (Mrs. William Crane) was the daughter of a prominent surgeon. Her uncle was a Supreme Court justice and her grandfather, Thomas Stone, had been a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Henry A.Wise
Senator Thomas Hart Benton (1842) _ Benton [14 Mar 1782 – 10 Apr 1858] was a US writer and Democratic Party leader who championed agrarian interests and westward expansion during his 30-year tenure as a senator from Missouri. He was the great-uncle of painter Thomas Hart Benton [15 Apr 1889 – 19 Jan 1975].
Fruit and Wine (114kb)
Slice of Watermelon (445x668pix, 21kb)
Watermelon and Grapes Still Life (1820, 33x49cm; 257x350pix, 62kb)

1755 Adriaen de Lelie, Dutch artist who died on 30 November 1820. — {Did de Lelie lie?}
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